Between Thanksgiving and the Christmas Holidays there is a growing feeling of gratefulness, isn’t there? At least I have this warm growing feeling of connection with the world. John Denver said “I believe that we are here for each other, not against each other. Everything comes from an understanding that you are a gift in my life - whoever you are, whatever our differences” and as the year heads to its end, I feel this connection more and more, that everybody and everything around me is a gift. Some are teaching me, some are nurturing me, some are compelling me to grow, but most of all I feel that there is so much love that surrounds us, so much good in the world, so many wonderful people undertaking huge projects to help children, to help those that have less, to protect the environment or to simply be a good human being, a good Samaritan, a good parent, a good citizen, a good example. I am grateful seeing all the wonderful people working hard to make a better world. With so much love in this time of the year, I must express how thankful I am for you and people like you that supports us with their love, their ideas, their work and their financial support.
We are just part of a big chain of people, people all over the world trying to make this world a better place, for all of us and the rest of creatures that coexist with us. And here are some of our achievements:
That is a lot of work! But this letter can only be so long! I am very proud of our team, through mud and under the rain they leave their houses to work with the children of Drake to light up their little faces with smiles and their brains with ideas of conservation, they go out in the middle of the night to protect little turtles, or get up at 4:00 in the morning to be in a meeting on the other side of the country! They are the engine of this organization and I thank them all for their commitment and dedication.
Our donors, volunteers and members are the driving force behind our environmental efforts. Your passion to protect the rainforest and to make a better world is key to maintain our work.
I wish everyone a Merry Christmas, happy New Year and may 2019 be full of health, peace and love for all!
I guess not all news can always be good news. If you are transparent, you need to share also your challenges and unfortunately, I have bad news: one of the bridge footings of the El Progreso Project succumbed to the flooding waters of the river. This area received more rain this last two years than ever seen before, I guess the impact of climate change.
Some members of El Progreso community and the Corcovado Foundation faced the challenge of doing something no one had dared to: build a pedestrian bridge on the Drake River, on the road between Progreso and Drake. Nobody has dared to do it, because the river is more than 300 feet wide and its waters have changed course several times. For years the community has faced the limitations that this river presents to them. Many times local people have to cross this river with the water up to their chest to make it to the other side, where the clinic, the high school and the main stores are. I have witnessed mothers carrying their toddlers on their shoulders to take them to the doctor and high schoolers holding hands trying to make it to the other side to go to school. So although it was a huge challenge, as a non profit organization that pushes for the socioeconomic development in the area as a way to alleviate the pressure upon the national resources, we decided we needed to do something. The process has been long, we have raised about $30,000 USD, but that is not enough and in order to stretch the funds as much as possible we have been waiting for the donation of the engineering services... which has delayed us.
We had built the foundations on both sides of the river. But, these lasts rainy seasons have proven to be stronger than anything we have seen before and after the October rains this year it was obvious that we needed to put gabions on the bridge or risk the river to wash the whole thing away. So we asked the engineers for an appropriate design and we were waiting. But in the middle of November after a winter in which we had an amount of rainfall without precedent, one of the bases of the bridge collapsed. Luckily, we had not put any additional materials on the bridge. So most of the money and the materials are still there.
When this base was built the first time, the location was established with the support of people who have lived in the town for many years, it was located as far away from the river as possible, without invading private property. We are concerned that to locate the foundation again in a place where the river no longer reaches, we would have to cross the threshold of private property. We have not surrendered! We are working with a structural engineer that can make us a proposal that adapts to the conditions of the area and that gives us at least the possibility of crossing on foot. But we are evaluating all viable options.
There will be more news to come soon, as we regroup and figure out how to get this done with the new conditions: less money and more pressure from the river. It is a challenge, but we will face it. Hopefully, you guys will have our back, as you had in the past. Thank you for your support and your contributions. We are welcoming any ideas that could help us figure out how to this this better.
Most children in Costa Rica have been absent from school since September. A government general strike deescalated later only to schools and high schools. Almost 1 million children and teenagers are supposed to be in school, but instead they are sitting at home, watching TV at best. This is the same situation for schools in the Osa Peninsula, but worse. Kids in the Osa Peninsula were already behind the general education standard. Many teachers in these schools are often absent for personal reasons or weather limitations, leaving the kids with 4 or 3 days of school, instead of the 5 normal days. Now, they have no school at all.
Unfortunately, these children are the ones that need a good school the most. They lack educational opportunities: there are no museums, libraries or theaters around, and their parents cannot complement the absence of education, because they also had limited access to it.
Students who frequently miss school are less likely to adopt the behaviors and social norms that employers, colleges and law enforcement may expect, experts say. https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2016/09/long-term-consequences-of-missing-school/498599/. “Absence is often associated with low supervision … and alienation or detachment from conventional institutions,” said Patrick H. Tolan, the director of Youth-Nex, a center at the University of Virginia that conducts research on factors influencing youth development.
Our organization has been working hard to help mitigate the impact of this void left by education. \
They say “fac et aliquid operis, ut semper te diabolus inveniat occupatum” or ”Idle hands are the devil's workshop”. So, we are doing everything we can to keep these kids busy and stimulated! Thanks to you support, we are making this possible. Take a look at our facebook page to see pictures about the work we do with all these kids. https://www.facebook.com/funcorco/ and please keep supporting us @globalgiving.